Is 'averageness' in the study of facial attraction ethnicity specific? I just always wondered whether the 'beauty' ideal of "averageness" is human wide, or is the average across some group or groups.

Wikipedia defines averageness at the start of the article as:

... the physical beauty that results from averaging the facial features of people of the same gender and approximately the same age.

In regards to culture it is stated that: "[t]his principle transcends culture" and "[w]hile Europeans also rated average Hadza faces as attractive, the Hadza people expressed no preference for average European faces" and "[t]hese results suggest that the rules for extracting attractive faces are culture-independent and innate, but the results of applying the rules depend on the environment and cultural experience."

Shouldn't the definition at the start of the article then read: "... from averaging the facial features of people of the same gender age and ethnicity".

I'm just asking because the results would, I'm guessing, be quite different.

  • Thank you for the update. I edited it slightly to improve quotes and emphasize your main question. I believe your question is now clear. My guess would be studies have both calculated average faces across and within different cultures, but I can't find an immediate answer on Wikipedia. +1 Good question. – Steven Jeuris Dec 4 at 9:32

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